Organisations are easier to plan for and lead, in steady, predictable, simple and clear environments. Unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. It’s becoming more and more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).

What does an organisation need to do to operate in a VUCA environment and how does leadership look different?


You need to steer in a chaotic world. Important strategic decisions must be taken, and sometimes they need to be taken upon a future you can’t possibly predict.

Deep and long lasting change under these conditions requires that you have a framework to learn about the future and have the organisational metrics, systems, thinking and culture in place that is able to respond to what you learn. Without these elements in place, we simply download reactions to our problems from the same thinking that created them.

Furthermore, you need tools such as Causal Layered Analysis (CLA), the futures triangle, futures landscapes and more to map, anticipate, time, deepen, create alternatives and transform the future.

The future is what you change today. Your organisation can learn how to use the future as an asset with Strategic Foresight skills.

VUCA Skills for Leaders

Not only does your organisation need a culture and structures that are agile and learning oriented, but you also need leaders that have the complexity of mind to respond to the demands of their role.

A study by Lectica found that most managers perform well below the recommended benchmarks for VUCA skills for their roles, with CEOs achieving an average of less than 60% of the necessary “thinking complexity”. The average complexity level of a CEO is equal to that of a senior manager. That is, 2 levels below where they need to be.

The good news is that this complexity gap can be bridged through coaching and learning tools such as the Lectica Leadership Decision Making Assessment (LDMA), which not only assesses the level of the leader but also provides 12 months worth of development activities that, when practiced, on average doubles the amount of growth that normally takes place in an educational program.

Lectical complexity levels also predict behavioural change in that the direct reports and peers of leaders who increase the scores, have reported improvement in those leaders behaviours compared to leaders whose scores did not improve.

Prepare your leaders with transformative leadership skills for an uncertain world.